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Focus Area

Lesson 8 from: Sony A7 Mark II Series Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

8. Focus Area

Lesson Info

Focus Area

custom number two button is set to do the focusing area, so this is where we can change how our camera focuses. And there are a lot of focusing options on this camera, so hold onto your hat. There's a lot of different ways of getting your camera to focus, So let's kind of talk about the inherent capabilities of the cameras that we're talking about here. So there are these different boxes that we can select over the range of the frame as to where the cameras are focusing. Now the A seven in the A seven are to have 25 contrast points in the A seven s has 169 contrast points. And the reason that it's different is because the A seven and the seven are are also using something else called phase detection points. Now the problem is, is that these phase detection points kind of take up a little bit of space on the sensor, and they didn't want to use that on the sensor that is in the S cameras. So they are different focusing systems. So which one is the best? Well, the R is the better between ...

the a seven and the are because there is mawr phase detection points. And so, if you are planning to use third party lenses and adapters, I would recommend the A. Seven are Mark, too. It's the best of all of them for shooting video purposes. The A seven s seems to work really good just because of the type of sensor that it has. And the contrast detection points are quite nice. It doesn't auto focus quite a zwelling with third party lenses. But with Sony lenses, the S does a tremendous job at focusing. To be honest with you, all of them do a tremendous job When you have the Sony lenses on there, it's just that they are is going to be able to pick up mawr things moving more quickly if you are doing action photography so in the frame, the way that you're gonna just focus area is number one. By pressing that, see to button and then you're gonna just the dial on the back of the camera. And these are your options. Wide zone center, flexible spot and expand flexible spots. So first off wide is pretty much the entire frame. So it's about 90% of the entire area. It looks over everything in that area, and it basically just picks out what is closest to the frame. And that is sometimes not a good thing, as I will show you in an upcoming video. And so it's going to show you in green boxes what it is focusing on and what is closest to the frame. The zone area, I think, is very good for action photography. It is nine boxes that you are able to move around a little to the left, a little to the right, up and down and so forth, and you can kind of target a little bit more of the zone that you want to focus in, not looking it at all. In the other parts of the camera, The Centre one is the one that I would probably recommend that nobody use. This one has no flexibility. It's just in the middle. It's fairly small. I think there's other options much better than this. For instance, the flexible spot here. It's the same type of area, but we get to choose the exact size of it. We can have its small, we can have it medium and we can have a large and we could move it around wherever we want on the frame. And so if we want it further off to the left, we can certainly do that. I think medium or large is probably one of the best options, and you can put it anywhere in the frame you want. The expand, flexible spot is one that kind of is on my notes to work more with in the future because this one has is both a small and a large. It starts with a small area, and if it can't figure things out, it then moves to a larger area. And so it's a bit of the best of two worlds in some ways. But it's also something that you can move around and one of the nice things about this type of camera. The Miral is camera versus the SLR is that the SL? Ours have pre determined focusing points, and you can't do anything about moving him. If you wanted one a little bit further outside, they don't do it. The advantage on this is that you can focus anywhere within that very, very large area, so let's go ahead and have the video. All right, let's talk about some of the focusing options. I want to start with wide zone focusing. So what I'm gonna do is activate my focusing system and change over to the wide zone, which gives us a huge area, and the camera will choose almost over the entire frame. Now, I have to admit here normally I would hold the camera to my eye to focus its just, steadier and easier to hold the camera. But so you guys can see what's going on. We're gonna be using the back screen on the camera, and here you can see as the green dots or green brackets come up on Caitlyn here. Wherever I want to frame it, However, I want to zoom in its finding whatever is closest in that frame. And Caitlin, if you want to move over a little bit and so I can move over here, really doesn't really matter the brightness, it's picking up on where she is. And so I can shoot pictures here, and it's gonna be picking up on that focus very quickly, pointed away. Bring it back in and it's picking up on her quite Well, so the next option in here is something a little bit more targeted, and we're going to change the focusing over to a zone focusing. And this is where we can choose a specific area. And we have these nine boxes that we can move around the screen. And so if I know that I want her off to the right hand side, we can do this. But to be honest with you, this is about the same as the wide zone, a little bit more effective. If she's standing a little bit behind the tree and I'm changing my composition and I want an element in the foreground, for whatever reason, I might wanna have it. Now that tree is gonna pick up the focusing. She's over here on the left hand side. I can take this zone, and I can move it off to the left hand side. And so now it's gonna forget about the tree and only look for what it can focus on over on the left hand side. Now, as you get more specialized in your composition, you may need to go to a finer focusing point. So we're gonna change not just a center. The problem with this one is that it's always in the center. I would much prefer to go to the next option, which is either flexible spot. And you can see there's a very tight spot there, medium or a large. And we're gonna do large here and we're gonna move over just a little bit. So that were very tightly framed around this tree. And so now I can take this spot and I What's wrong? Button here, Let's move this around. I'm gonna move this over here a little bit. I'm going to zoom in. And so now it's very much just in this one spot, and it's on Lee looking in that very tight spot. And so this is the way that I would normally keep my camera, and I would just simply move this focusing point around according to where I want it Now, Which one of these should you use? Small, medium or large? Well, it kind of depends on how you frame things up and how specific you are. I think medium or large is a good general place to leave it most of the time. Okay, so that's using some of the different focusing points. Now there are more options that we have in here, and so let's talk about the additional options that we have, and this is a group that are the exact same. But they're designed with the feature called Lock on Auto Focus. And this is where is mainly designed for being used with the A. F. C or the continuous focusing mode, which we haven't talked about yet. But in the previous mode, it's where we're focusing on a static subject that is not moving towards us or away from us. So if we're going to be focusing on action, we can put it in the lock on a F mode. And what happens here is that the camera will recognize that the subject is moving and we can choose the starting point, whether it's the full frame or a very targeted area. And then what's gonna happen is it's gonna put a green box, and that box is gonna change in size, and it's gonna move around with our subject as our subject is moving. And so I have a video for this, but I'm gonna wait to show that video until after we actually show you how to turn the camera into the continuous focusing mode because there are kind of two things that you have to have going on at the same time. And so normally I am gonna recommend probably a medium or a large, flexible spot for standard photography. And then when you get down to action photography, I think I like the zone system that gives us a little bit larger area toe work with All right, so I think we are just about done with the top of the camera once again, if you want to customize these controls, paid seven in the custom set up menu and you can reconfigure these buttons to do any one of about 50 different things.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Sony® A7II Info and Menu List
Sony® A7RII info and Menu List
Sony® A7SII Info and Menu List

Ratings and Reviews

Diane Schulman

INCREDIBLE Class! I couldn't find anything on the internet that truly explained this camera, explained what it can and can't do and what accessories would work with it. I have had my Sony A7II for awhile now, but was so overwhelmed by it, I rarely even took it out of its case. It was just easier to use my Canon 5D III. After this class, I am so excited to finally practice with and use my Sony. John is an incredible teacher. He is thorough, professional, fun and knowledgeable! Buying this class was the best investment!!! I feel like I just got the gift of a new camera because I can finally use my Sony!!! Thanks John and Thanks Creative Live!!!

Enrique Vega es

I stored my Sony A7II for more than a year since I've been Canon's user for 7 years and I felt unsure of taking this new camera which implied a different menu system, different functions, a little bit intimidating. Finally, I took a bit of valor, put my camera next to the computer monitor for then start watching this guide and I spent a great time actually. I'm amazed at how helpful and clear is the sequence of the chapters. It was enough to get to chapter ten to know all the basic controls and start taking pictures with an equivalent confidence of my good old Canon, or even better since in the chapter 8th I learned how accurate and easy to use is the focusing system, either, manual or auto (For stills I've always used manual focusing). Very informative, enjoyable and now I became a new fan of the mirrorless cameras, at the point that I'm considering to buy another two :D


John is an excellent teacher! In fact his Fundamentals of Digital Photography 2014 was the first ever class I watched on CreativeLive, and since then I'm in love with his teaching style as well as with CreativeLive! I bought my Sony A7II in March 2015 and when I found out that John is giving a class on it I was very excited! As I expected I learnt many secrets about my camera which I had been using for 9 months already. For example about the option of focusing on the eyes, setting the buttons, making panoramas etc. The camera is still smarter than me I must admit. I am enjoying my Sony even more now since after the class I feel much more confident. Thank you John and CreativeLive for such an opportunity! I would recommend to everyone who has a Sony a7II camera and the other cameras in this line to watch this class. It's a concentrate of useful information, very detailed and to the point. I spent two days just watching the class and practicing new knowledge with my camera straight away. I had to postpone all the other life chores. And I would be ready to watch the class again after some time as it's a professional camera which needs a lot of practice!

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